Feeling economically secure can be a challenging goal for many people, especially during the summer. You want to travel, you want to go to concerts, and you want to spend time with your friends — but you always seem to run out of money. Here are a few tips that may help you get back on track and start feeling financially stable during this season.

Constantly Assess Your Financial Needs

The first rule of finance is… budget, budget, budget! That’s what you need to do if you want to save money this summer. Yes, these months are the best time of the year, with plenty of things to do and see. But your budget can help you by taking into account your expenditures and other factors that you might not have considered.

For example, sales tax in Florida is 6% on goods and services. This rate may be significantly higher in other states, so you might need to consider this amount when creating your budget if you plan to travel. Doing so will help to ensure that you don’t get frustrated with this process in any way. Even if it’s hard to budget out your concerts or trips to visit college friends, you need to limit yourself.

Pay Off Your Credit Cards

Do you have a credit card you’ve maxed out or that you’re sick of dealing with? Then save up and pay more than the minimum. For example, if you have a debt of $2,000 and have over $10,000 in the bank for the summer, pay off your card immediately. Doing so will cut back on your monthly expenses and allow you to use that credit card more effectively during the summer.

For instance, you can book a plane trip using your credit card and then pay it off completely at the end of the month. Such an approach is wise because it slowly but surely builds up your credit. Just as importantly, it gives you easy access to financing sources that you can draw on instead of your checking or savings. Expanding your finance options here is always wise if you want to save cash.

Get Into a Side Hustle

The side hustle is a new way of earning money, especially during the pandemic. This approach is understandable because so many people are struggling to create savings, thanks to low wages. Currently, one-third of Americans have no retirement plan or savings. Shockingly, another 50% of Americans have only $10,000 or less saved in their accounts. As a result, the side hustle is a critical way of making sure you save up money.

What kind of side hustles are right for you? Some people get into picking up a gig as a healthcare provider, such as providing hands-on care once a week for an older adult. Others get into online marketing, selling their art, growing produce to sell at a farmer’s market, website creation, mowing lawns, or even delivering food. Find an approach that suits you and put your side hustle money into your savings.

Consider Buying a Home Before Summer

How in the world can buying a home help you save money? Many finance experts claim that purchasing a home cuts down on your rental costs and provides you with more financial freedom. While many struggles to achieve this goal (as around 27% of Americans rented homes in 2016), homeownership cuts back on expenses by potentially halving your rental price and letting you take control of your finances.

Homeownership also improves your credit, lets you choose the type of upgrades your home needs, and much more. You can rent out a room in your house to make extra money or use sites like Airbnb to use your room as a temporary option. Or you can convert your basement into a workshop for your side hustle or an office where you can work on other gigs to save money. While the competition may be fierce, buying a home could present a route to financial freedom. At the very least, you should start saving now!

Depending on your circumstances, these steps may seem relatively easy or they might prove difficult. If you’re struggling to handle any of them and need help from a team you can trust, reach out to a financial expert who can provide you with some sound guidance.

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